Yorkshire council leader says 2% council tax hike falls well short of care funding needs


A council leader in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, has told his local newspaper that the city is struggling to cope with the rising cost its ageing population.

Chancellor George Osborne last year gave councils the freedom to increase council tax by up to 2% to pay for adult social care, but councillor Peter Box told The Yorkshire Post that this would not be enough.

He told the paper that the city faces “huge pressures” as it struggles to find savings of £27 million in the current financial year.

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The power to add 2% to council tax rates to pay for social care, known as the precept, will almost certainly be adopted in Wakefield, but will raise just £2.1m. The council estimates that it will need an additional £4.5m to pay for social care as demand and costs increase.

Mr Box told The Yorkshire Post: “Everybody in central and local government knows of the increasing pressures in adult social care. We know that the over-85s are the biggest growing demographic and we know it is this group that most needs care.

“That’s an issue right across the country and in Wakefield that is exacerbated because we have an increasing ageing population so there are huge pressures on us.

“Whilst I am glad the Government have recognised the problem I am not sure they fully understand the cost and that what they have proposed won’t really address the problem.”

Tags : Autumn StatementCouncilFunding CrisisLocal AuthorityWakefield

The author Rob Corder

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